Starting today, I am hosting a transgender day of remembrance event, in Fallon, NV. I’m making my office location available to the public for that event.
The planned format of the event will be appropriate to the culture of the event, of the local culture, and of the transgender individuals who are expected to be in attendance.
- a Barbie doll that a Fallon t-girl bought herself after she came out. She’d always wanted one, and it didn’t fit the paradigm of how she was told to live. And finally, it does and it’s fine for her to own one.
- a formally prescribed, legal prescription bottle of estrogen as is being taken daily by a Fallon t-girl in the context of responsible medical supervision including formal lab blood tests that monitor her kidneys, liver and blood cholesterol.
The event is planned for 7 p.m. at the offices of Precision Quality Software, Inc. at 131 Industrial Way, Fallon, NV 89406. Anyone who is transgender or supportive is welcome, but space is limited for this year’s event so anyone expected to attend should contact me ahead of time, and advise how many people would like to attend — so that I can continue to revise my plans as to space and refreshments. Contact me via the comments for next year’s event.
Being visibly out and proud is part of the culture-change process in favor of public awareness and acceptance of transgender people, but tonight’s event isn’t intended mainly for that. With that in mind, the recommended dress code for tonight’s event should be somber such as befits the solemnity of the occasion.
Consistent with the Fallon culture of live-and-let-live: as to any adult choosing to smoke, it’s your personal decision and you are welcome to do so. For attending this year’s event, please limit yourself to substances that won’t result in a police raid for narcotics. Ten years from now it might well be the other way around but in 2015 in Fallon, NV tobacco is legal and pot is not. Please plan accordingly. Due to the chilly weather the event will be held indoors in limited space, so it’s a non-smoking event. Ample space is available for smokers right by the entrance.
The life story of a transgender person typically has a central theme of conflict between the personal values of the individual and the norms imposed by others. That conflict shapes our personalities, and many transgender people end up stronger with some of us taking the battle to the castle gates of our adversaries, which is a very “Fallon, Nevada” way of dealing with adversity. However, there is often much personal, private anguish in the lives of transgender people. Often this ends with one more life ending due to the transgender person choosing to not live any more.
Some transgender people might never get beat up and yet the emotional pain due to non-violent animosity might still be such that they choose to end their own journey in life. Probably when these names are added to the list of those we’ve lost, the list is much longer, and yet quite possibly unknown to the general public or even to those who thought they knew the transgender person closely. And so for these individuals as a whole, the event will have a formal acknowledgement too.
Even so, tonight’s ceremony has the central theme of remembering individuals who, due to being transgender, experience violence resulting in death or severe injury to the transgender person. “Remembering those we’ve lost” sums it up but the emphasis is on violence.
A typical format for this event, elsewhere, has been where a name is read with the location and cause of death. Without any offense intended to those who take that approach, tonight’s event will not do so. Instead the event will involve discussing transgender victims whose stories are known to the attendees, first-hand or otherwise. That tends to make it a lot more personal.
Some of my ancestors were French Huegenots, Protestants who as a group were being targeted and killed off in droves in France, where the majority of the populace was Roman Catholic and so was the royalty. To survive, my ancestors fled to the southern tip of Africa. Certainly to have a Protestant Day of Remembrance in that time and place would be appropriate. Today in America it seems pointless.
That is my intent behind the Transgender Day of Remembrance ceremony: to have it soon fizzle out due to it being that pointless.
With that in mind, life is for the living, and the best way to experience a better future is to take charge and shape it. The events of this evening will (again consistent with the culture of Fallon, NV) end on an upbeat note with the explicit intent of enabling this year’s attendees to be there next year too, with two discussions:
- Risk of death by one’s own hand
- Risk of death by the hand of others.
Risk management involves reducing the likelihood of bad things happening and/or reducing the negative effects if the bad thing does happen. The discussion will follow that structure.